Critical Issue

Critical Issues in Healthcare Environments

Created from PDF via Acrobat SaveAsXML Mapping table version: 28-February-2003
By Uriel Cohen, D.Arch, and David Allison, AIA
Published by The Center for Health Design, 2009 and sponsored by Bayer Material Science, Herman Miller, and Frank Zilm Inc.
The catalyst for this study was the need to establish research agenda for healthcare environments. A critical step prior to selecting the important research questions, is establishing criteria and methods for the selection process. However, the choice of topics to be researched and the selection of interventions to be tested in healthcare environments are often determined by investigators and sponsors in a pre-scientific way.
This study focused on critical problem areas and unresolved issues as the universe of topics from which viable, important research questions can be generated. These questions can form a systematic, problem-driven research agenda. Ultimately, the research information will lead to more informed design, improved environments, and better healthcare.
The objective of the project was to identify and describe critical issues in three healthcare environments—hospital, ambulatory, and long-term care settings, specifically focusing on issues and problems which have a bearing on the physical environment.
A survey questionnaire was developed to address the study questions. The questionnaire was disseminated nationally via a web-based survey. The respondents could select to address one or more of three setting types—hospital, ambulatory, or long-term care environments. Respondents were asked to rank issues among and within six potential domains of issues, and add open-ended comments. The probes led to the last key question in the survey, “What is the most critical issue in healthcare environments?”
Participants in the survey included 639 individuals from 15 types of stakeholder groups, of which 443...